Friday, April 6, 2018

Aerie Lane: A Gathering & Crafting Experience


Hello! I'm excited to share my latest adventure in the blog world, and I do count it all as an adventure...from scoring fabulous deals at my favorite stores, being a guinea pig for live mineral sachets you add to your water, testing out a 5 Step Korean skincare routine, or finding new people to share my free cupcakes with. I never tire of trying new products, new clothing or having new experiences!
And today's featured adventure was completely out of my comfort zone! Did you see the word "craft" in the picture above?? When I see the word "craft" it sends a message to my brain to cease and desist with reminders of failed crafts of the past. Then, what am I doing featuring such a venture you ask?

Well I'm so glad you asked. You know the saying, "it's who you know"? It's often true and it's how I stumbled onto this venture for a day.


Meet Cathy and Emily, both of whom I've met around town at school or Bible study. Cathy is a wife, mom and has been her own boss with My 31 for years. Emily is also a wife and mom. She has an interior design degree, but has been helping her husband in his business for sometime now.  They recently opened the charming Aerie Lane in Buford, GA. You should ask them how they joined forces to start this business. It's a great story!

Anyway, one of them mentioned a possible blog feature while interacting on Facebook.

Once again the movie of failed crafts played through my mind and I blurted out each botched craft to Emily over the phone.

She wasn't concerned in the least, so I asked an important question.

Me: Well, what is Aerie Lane exactly? Is it just crafting?

Emily: No. Aerie Lane is a gathering experience where you can paint, create, shop our boutique and laugh with your friends. Or you can get away for a couple of hours and go solo. There's classes for water color painting and hand lettering. You can rent our space for a business or organization meeting, etc. You can bring your own board, sign, ect and use our supplies to create. All levels of crafter are welcome. 

Ok. My interest was piqued.

We set a date and I was surprisingly excited about my upcoming craft experience at Aerie Lane.

Arrive at the Shop




After making a few stories for IG from my office - the minivan, I finally walked through the doors of Aerie Lane. Everything was so beautifully decorated. I paused to take it all in. Music played quietly in the background and candles filled the space with a pleasant aroma.

Emily was already waiting for me behind the counter, but before we began I slowly walked around the room to see each sign and detail.


Antiques and hand painted signs or handmade creations lined the walls...




I admired the shabby chic vibe and felt like Joanna Gaines was going to walk in at any moment, with Chip in tow.  The world was outside, but I was in Aerie Lane.



I walked around their boutique and admired the hand painted prints for sale.




I smiled as I read the witty script imprinted on trendy tees.


Then I walked over to a small section feature boutique style clothing, which you know I love! I'll take one of each please. ;)


Let's Get Started: Project: Framed Sign

Once I familiarized myself with the spacious room, I told Emily I was ready to get started on my creation. Over the phone I asked Emily to surprise me with some stencil options. Her picks were perfect and I struggled to choose just one...



After I finally decided on a stencil, Emily directed me to their fun color selection process...wooden spoons, beautifully arranged in glass jars..


As this was my first go round, I opted for a subtle color palette and went with grey, off white and a brown stain.


Time to start!


Brush on the stain and then wipe it with a rag.

Emily walked me through each step, providing as little or as much guidance as I desired.



I was beginning to have fun. With the stress of how to make it happen removed, I just enjoyed the relaxing experience of doing something creative with my hands. Meanwhile Emily told me stories of patrons coming in on their own and leaving with new connections from other women doing the same at the "craft bar".

I could clearly hear her passion about the value of connecting with others, whether it be on a girl's night out or meeting for the first time. She explained how crafting is a great vehicle for people to disconnect from their electronics and find community. And Aerie Lane offers all kinds of workshop categories to encourage the gathering.

A few words about the Craft Bar from their website...


Aerie Lane's Top 5 Reasons to Craft Bar...
  1. Friends don't let friends craft at home...alone
  2. It's like a crafter's support group
  3. Our Kits on the Go cure your DIY creative block
  4. Because sometimes friends need to meet at the bar
  5. It's a stress free zone


While the board dries, stain the frame...


With the frame complete, I returned to my board to apply the stencil.


Emily instructed me to add mod-podge to the stencil. She explained that it helped the pain adhere better.  Then I painted my final color over the letterings.


The time flew by and before I knew it it was time to remove the stencils and nail the board and frame together. Emily pulled out her nail gun and went to work putting the right amount nails into my board, while explaining how she and her husband make all the boards for the shop! I was so impressed.



I couldn't believe how pretty my sign turned out!!


We played around with different ways to capture how this board would look in a variety of locations...

On the table. :)


Did I really paint this??


Oh yes I did!!

...on the mantle...


Sitting on an antiqued ladder. Like I said, we were having fun!


I played around in Aerie Lane for 2 hours and didn't even notice the time pass. Emily explained that group gatherings require about 3 hours. You know how we are when we get together!! :) I would love to do one of their porch signs and want to plan a girl's night out.

As I drove home, I realized that Emily was right about crafting as a vehicle to temporarily disconnect from electronics or other draining life factors and CONNECT in refreshing community. I left feeling light hearted from our conversation AND I had a sense of accomplishment as I glanced proudly at my framed sign.

Of course Aerie Lane is local to me, but I've learned that there's several locations. Do you have one in your area?

I would recommend visiting their shop to look around their boutique. Most of their signs and antiques are for sale. They also have jewelry, soaps, candles etc for sale.

Examples of other pieces you could do:

Rustic Centerpieces


Monogram Welcome Pallet


Porch Welcome Sign


To see more examples of offered projects go HERE.
To see a full listing of what what Aerie Lane of Buford has to offer, go here.
Want to book a private event for girl's nights, birthday gatherings, kid's craft and more?? Click here.
Want to try one of their workshops for porch signs, wall signs, pillows, etc? Click here.

What a wonderful day and experience this proved to be and I can't wait to find a home for the sign that I painted and LOVE!

Oh! And of course I left Emily with a cupcake. ;)



Chrissy

Click HERE for a peek at all the fabulous link ups I join on a weekly basis!
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16 comments

  1. Can I come craft with you there? Your finished product is beautiful and you are the cutest crafted around. Super cool business venture. Love ya!

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    1. Yes! Come one down. I'd love it. And then we'd go to Splat for a treat. :)

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  2. Well, this is nothing but NEAT!!! And, your sign is perfect. What an enjoyable post about your enjoyable time. I have relatives that live not far from Buford so we might have to check this out the next time we're there. Happy weekend!

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    1. Thank you Lea! Oh that would be amazing. I hope you will let me know the next time you're in town, especially if you decided to pop into Aerie Lane. How fun would that be? Happy weekend to you as well and thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it!

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  3. This place looks like so much fun- I’ve Never heard of it before. Your sign turned out great. I’m ready to go craft!

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    1. It really is and I say we should get some girl's up to go! :) Love you my friend!

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  4. Love, Love, Love your sign, and of course you would choose the one with Grace in it. Too perfect. I'd love to do a girls night out like that!

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    1. Thank you Lisa! Grab up Kellyann, Andrea and whoever else and let's go! And thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I really appreciate it! :)

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  5. What a cool idea, Chrissy. I'm so glad you tried this because it just goes to show we can all be surprised at what we can do with the right help!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Yes! Thank you Jodie. And how nice if they have all the tools and all the clean up taken care of. haha! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Always love to hear from you!

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  6. Oh my gracious! What an incredibly charming place! I just love it! Who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon there?! And your sign is so adorable! Thanks so much for sharing your afternoon with us!

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    1. Thank you Ronnie. I agree. Thank YOU for taking time to read. Sharing is no fun is there is no one to share with! lol. You're a blessing and I hope you have a great weekend!

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  7. Well people who come up with these clever ideas blow my mind. I am a horrible crafter but that looks like something I could handle. Your sign is so beautiful and you are one precious crafter! Best wishes to Aerie Lane, they will be a blessing to many women I can tell!
    xo,
    Kellyann

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    1. I know! Yes, if I can handle this craft I know you can. I'm with you...craft struggles all the way. And you're so sweet Kellyann...you come up with the perfect things to say! :)

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  8. I am not much of a crafter either though sometimes I am very artistic in doing things. I am definitely a super creative person though. This turned out into a great little side thing and you did a fantastic job with your frame. I'd love to learn how to write in cursive like that. Also is that your mantle?! So stunning, girly and Springy!

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    1. Yes, you are very artistic and creative! And I'd love to write cursive like that as well...they have a class for it - let's go! ;0) That mantle is in their shop...It is stunning! Thank you for visiting with me Ada - you know I love it!

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